Washington Nationals: Five To Watch Against Spiraling Phillies

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May 6, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) runs towards home after hitting a three run home run against Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez (28) during the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) runs towards home after hitting a three run home run against Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez (28) during the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Odubel Herrera

Odubel Herrera has become arguably the best player on the talented Phillies squad. That isn’t too shabby for a former rule five draft pick. Herrera has quickly become one of the best rule five draft picks of all time, and has paid huge dividends for the Phillies.

Herrera also seems to always hurt the Nats. He is a career .258 hitter against the Nationals, but that doesn’t quite do him justice. Against the Nats’ probable starters for the series, Tanner Roark, Gio Gonzalez, and Max Scherzer, Herrera hits .429, .273, .321 respectively.

The second baseman turned center fielder can also make an enormous impact with his glove. According to FanGraphs, he has a .914 RZR so far this season, which is great. That’s especially impressive, considering he was primarily an infielder until 2015. He has already made a few gold glove-caliber plays to rob the Nats of hits, as pictured above.

The 25-year-old center fielder has performed well at the plate in May, batting .262 in nine games. He also has four multi-hit games this month, and is riding a three game hitting streak.

The Nats will need to do their best to keep Herrera off the bases, because he is also capable of making an impact with his legs. He has three stolen bases so far this season, and is always a threat to run. He typically bats third, and allowing a speedy runner on base while facing the heart of the lineup could be trouble.

Herrera has a good history against the Nats and has gotten off to a solid start in 2017. Limiting his production should be a priority for the Nationals this weekend.

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